Eating Healthy: 4 Benefits for Seniors

It’s true. A healthy diet is important no matter your age. However, as we grow older, and we become more susceptible to different illnesses and diseases, a healthy diet takes on increased importance. During National Nutrition Month, we should also keep in mind that what a healthy diet looks like can change as we age.

Senior men and women have different dietary needs, and what makes up a balanced meal can vary from individual to individual. Before you make any changes to your diet, though, be sure to ask your primary care provider if they are right for you. With that in mind, here are several benefits to a healthy diet:

1. Increased Heart Health

American Heart Month just ended, but maintaining our heart health is a year-round job. That starts with the food we put in our mouths. Step one is following the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Again, before making any changes to your diet, be sure to consult your primary care provider.

According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, following the dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been shown to help adults lower their long-term risk for cardiovascular disease and premature death caused by it.

2. Higher Brain Function

What we put in our bodies has a far-reaching impact. It’s easy to associate our diet with our body weight, but did you know that what you eat can contribute to better brain function?

Flavonoids, the chemicals found in fruits and vegetables that give them their bright colors, may contribute to a reduction in confusion and forgetfulness in seniors. Additionally, according to a 2022 investigation published by the medical journal Neurology, consuming the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables has been tied to a lower risk for dementia in adults over 45.

3. Lower Cancer Risk

There is so much talk today about different processed foods being classified as Group 2A carcinogens, which means they probably cause cancer. However, there are also foods that we can consume that may very well have the opposite effect.

According to a 2021 report published in the medical journal Nutrients, fruits, vegetables, fatty fish and unsweetened yogurt have a positive impact in protecting one’s body against four of the most common types of cancer: colorectal, breast, lung and prostate. 

4. Improved Body Weight

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of eating a healthy diet is to improve your body weight. Whether you need to shed a few pounds or gain a little weight, eating a more balanced diet has long-proven to aid individuals in reaching a weight that is both healthy and comfortable for them.

The best part? Good nutrition can help you shed excess weight while avoiding food cravings or feeling exceptionally hungry. The reason for this is that healthy foods are full of nutrients, while ultra-processed foods are usually loaded with fat, salt and sugar.

National Nutrition Month presents the perfect opportunity to commit to a healthy diet. The four points listed above are just a sampling of the many benefits that eating healthier presents, so take control of your nutrition this March and beyond! 

Residents at Hoffman SummerWood enjoy a variety of delicious and nutritious dining options and other healthy amenities. Our chefs prepare fresh, four-course sit-down meals for breakfast and dinner, with a continental selection available in the afternoons. Additionally, a full lunch can be requested, and our accommodating kitchen team personalizes meals to meet each resident’s dietary needs. Dine in our spacious dining room or have meals delivered directly to your apartment. Hoffman SummerWood makes it easier to eat healthy all year round.

For more information about Hoffman SummerWood’s amenities, please visit us online.


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